It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-08-2012, 04:01 PM   #1
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Philadelphia suburbs
Posts: 3
NPsufferer HB User
Scared to have Neck Surgery

I was told by an orthopaedic and neurosurgeon that I need surgery on my neck. I find out more specifics of my surgery on Tuesday, but I think I have to get two disc's replaced in my cervical spine.

From my MRI report it states that I have
C4-C5 Posterior disc osteophye complex and unicinate process hypertrophy, narrowing the right lateral recess and impinging on /subtly deforming the ventral right with vental cord. Severe narrowing right neural canal. Moderate narrowing left neural canal.

C5-C6 Posterior disc osteophye complex and unicinate process hypertrophy, narrowing the right lateral recess and impinging on /subtly deforming the ventral and right with vental cord. Severe narrowing left neural canal.

I have been suffering with neck pain for a year now. I have tried physical therapy, neck traction, epidural injections and pain medicine to no avail.

I have heard that surgery just makes the pain worse and I would like to hear from people who have had disc's replaced and how they are recovering. Also, how the recovery process was for you.

Please advise right away because I have to make a decision soon and want to be prepared for my appt with the neurosurgeon on Tuesday.

Thank you!
Fellow Neck Pain Sufferer

 
Old 09-08-2012, 04:53 PM   #2
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 548
pebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB User
Re: Scared to have Neck Surgery

Hi. Welcome to the Board.

First here are the surgeries that I have been thru:

-- 1994 lumbar surgery for herniated discs;
-- 1995 cervical surgery for foramina stenosis;
-- 1997 lumbar surgery for "flatback syndrome" with Harrington Rods;
-- 2000 cervical surgery for "kyphosis" with Harrinton rods. This was a 2 stage surgery. First part was putting in Harrington Rods in from C3 to T4; and then the second part was anterior position with a bone graft at I think it was 3 levels but cant recall exact levels;
-- 2006 and 2011 Implant of Spinal Cord Stimulator and then the removal.

I have further cervical issues in that I have myelomalacia which is softening of th spine.
I have severe nerve damage of the neck and lumbar area; severe arthritis and peripheral neuropathy in both legs that is spinal and dieabetic related.

As to my history, it appears that each surgery was a success. And as far as I am concerned the surgeries were successful.
Why so many surgeries and continual issues? I think that after each surgery "NEW" problems arose unrelated to the surgeries that I had done. For whatever reason I am prone to spine issues. No I was not involved in any type of automobile accident or fall etc or any related accident. It's just the way my life has gone sorry to say.

If all has failed in your treatment, then your options may be limited.

I dont think that the surgeries I had made my problems worse. I went thru the surgeries because I felt they would help the problem at hand and in my opinion they did. I had no regrets in having the surgeries that I did. Yes they were drastic surgeries.

As to your decision, first make sure your surgeon is trained in "spine surgery." do you have confidence in your surgeon? Do they communicate with you and address your concerns. Personally I go to doctors that are affiliated with major teaching hospitals.

I do a lot of soul searching when approaching surgery. I believe in the mind body connection that you have to be prepared to go in for surgery mentally as well as physically for the challenges.

As to the recovery process. I found surgery on the lumbar area a lot easier to deal with then the cervical surgeries. In my surgery on the neck that was 12 hours long I had to wear a neck brace for 4 plus months. It was a drastic surgery.

Others I have heard felt that the cervical surgery was easier then the lumbar surgery. I guess it varies from person to person and your experiences.

I cant make a decision for you on surgery. No one can. That is your decision. Again I have no regrets on the surgeries that I went thru.

I wish you well please let us know how you make out. If you have any questions please ask.

Allan

 
The Following User Says Thank You to pebblebeach3 For This Useful Post:
NPsufferer (09-10-2012)
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 09-08-2012, 05:32 PM   #3
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,385
WebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB User
Re: Scared to have Neck Surgery

I would not say the surgery necessarily makes the pain worse. Didn't for me. Of course, you need the ABSOLUTE BEST surgeon you can find.

I'd also say you need another one or two more opinions. Perhaps not so much regarding the NEED for surgery, but regarding what TYPE of surgery to get. After all, you have waited this long, so another couple of weeks shouldn't hurt....

Last edited by WebDozer; 09-08-2012 at 05:33 PM.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to WebDozer For This Useful Post:
NPsufferer (09-10-2012)
Old 09-08-2012, 11:15 PM   #4
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 159
Realhousewife HB UserRealhousewife HB UserRealhousewife HB UserRealhousewife HB UserRealhousewife HB UserRealhousewife HB UserRealhousewife HB UserRealhousewife HB UserRealhousewife HB UserRealhousewife HB User
Re: Scared to have Neck Surgery

I had a 2 level acdf earlier this year and I would do it again if I had to. The awful stabbing pain in my neck is gone and so are most of my problems. My muscle in the upper part of my left arm still hurts on occasion and some numbness in the same arm plus under my chin from the incision on upwards are still some of the problems I have but at least I'm not paralyzed which was a good possibility from severe cord compression.

Over 17,000 ACDF's are performed every year in the US. Most people have no complications and have moved on with their lives. The stories you read here are not the norm. It's not as bad as some people would lead you to believe. After I had my surgery I had a sore throat for a few days from the tube they put in but other than that the surgery went off without a hitch as did my recovery. I was surprised at how well I did after surgery because I had read all the horror stories and was prepared for the worst.

As for pain, I had arthroscopic knee surgery 9 weeks after my acdf and the pain from that was a LOT worse than the ACDF pain. The only pain I had from that was the muscles in the back of my neck; my knee hurt like hell for 2 weeks after the surgery and all they did was stick two things into my knee. It hurt so bad it scared my Dad from having knee replacement surgery.


All surgeries have their risk-it just seems more scary because it's your spine involved. But if you find someone(preferably a neurosurgeon) who is good at what he does and does spines than you should be okay.

Last edited by Realhousewife; 09-08-2012 at 11:20 PM.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to Realhousewife For This Useful Post:
NPsufferer (09-10-2012)
Old 09-09-2012, 10:04 AM   #5
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7
kim55119 HB User
Re: Scared to have Neck Surgery

I had a laminoplasty 6 years ago levels 3-6. Recovery was brutal, but I'm glad I did it. I still have pain days, but nothing like it was before the surgery. I wanted to "make sure" I actually needed the surgery and went to 5 different surgeons. All confirmed I did. And even then, I lasted 4 years after the diagnosis because I was scared. It finally came down to I needed it done immediately. Hang in there. I found that listening to meditation cd's about surgery and recovery really helped.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to kim55119 For This Useful Post:
NPsufferer (09-10-2012)
Old 09-09-2012, 08:06 PM   #6
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Conejo, CA, USA
Posts: 9
sbcatt HB User
Re: Scared to have Neck Surgery

I waited 22 (you read that correctly) years to have my surgery. ACDF C4-6. 5 years ago they wouldn't do a 2 level disc replacement. I too tried physical therapy, traction, epidurals & pain management. The ONLY thing that got rid of the ice pick pain that came from the center of my spine when I turned my head the wrong way or slept the wrong way or woke up the wrong way or just felt like happening was having the surgery.

It wasn't easy and it wasn't without residual effects. That said, for 5 years I didn't have to take pain meds (a stigma still exists,) I wasn't constipated and I didn't spend almost every waking moment waiting for the next lightening bolt of pain. That, in my humble opinion is worth it. I have other issues now but they aren't related to my surgery. That "particular" pain is gone and I am grateful to my Orthopedic Spine Surgeon that he was able to help me when 3 other surgeons said "Sorry, all you have is pain, I can't help you"

Hope this helps.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to sbcatt For This Useful Post:
NPsufferer (09-10-2012)
Old 09-10-2012, 10:19 AM   #7
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: East Coast, VA, USA
Posts: 550
Ilovemycutedog HB UserIlovemycutedog HB UserIlovemycutedog HB UserIlovemycutedog HB UserIlovemycutedog HB UserIlovemycutedog HB UserIlovemycutedog HB UserIlovemycutedog HB UserIlovemycutedog HB UserIlovemycutedog HB UserIlovemycutedog HB User
Re: Scared to have Neck Surgery

Sbcatt....when you say 5 years ago they wouldn't do a two level disc replacement...you are speaking specifically about you, correct? As they have done these for many years at two level, and all the way up to 4 level even though the latter is pretty rare.

My first two level was back in 2001.

All my surgeries were done within two weeks of seeing the MRI so they were pretty emergent and done to fix mechanical issues. As mentioned, surgery is never guaranteed to take the pain away but thankfully it does for close to 85% of those who have surgery.

Most people are scared to have their first major surgery. And the only way to feel confident that it's truly needed is to have at least 2-3 opinions from Board Certified Neurosurgeons or a BC Orthosurgeon although many of them do not specialize in the cervical area so best to ask.

Also as mentioned, you are going to find those who still have residual pain online as the many, many success stories never come to a board to post about them. They are out living their lives. And I don't know of hardly any stories where they are worse off now than before the surgery. Again, some people can still have some pain, but it's on a different level than before.

I am thankful that I had most of my nerve pain relieved after this 3rd fusion. I still have bone, muscle, and scar tissue (adhesion) pain. But that is because I have had the 3 surgeries and last one was done anterior and posterior approach as well as I have 4 active severe herniations right now. But we are avoiding anymore surgery unless absolutely necessary.

Good luck with everything!

 
The Following User Says Thank You to Ilovemycutedog For This Useful Post:
NPsufferer (09-10-2012)
Old 09-10-2012, 07:13 PM   #8
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Philadelphia suburbs
Posts: 3
NPsufferer HB User
Re: Scared to have Neck Surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by NPsufferer View Post
I was told by an orthopaedic and neurosurgeon that I need surgery on my neck. I find out more specifics of my surgery on Tuesday, but I think I have to get two disc's replaced in my cervical spine.

From my MRI report it states that I have
C4-C5 Posterior disc osteophye complex and unicinate process hypertrophy, narrowing the right lateral recess and impinging on /subtly deforming the ventral right with vental cord. Severe narrowing right neural canal. Moderate narrowing left neural canal.

C5-C6 Posterior disc osteophye complex and unicinate process hypertrophy, narrowing the right lateral recess and impinging on /subtly deforming the ventral and right with vental cord. Severe narrowing left neural canal.

I have been suffering with neck pain for a year now. I have tried physical therapy, neck traction, epidural injections and pain medicine to no avail.

I have heard that surgery just makes the pain worse and I would like to hear from people who have had disc's replaced and how they are recovering. Also, how the recovery process was for you.

Please advise right away because I have to make a decision soon and want to be prepared for my appt with the neurosurgeon on Tuesday.

Thank you!
Fellow Neck Pain Sufferer

 
Old 09-11-2012, 12:08 AM   #9
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 548
pebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB Userpebblebeach3 HB User
Re: Scared to have Neck Surgery

NPSufferer:

I see you reposted your original message. There have been a number of responses to your original post. Not sure why you reposted and didn't respond to our responses?

 
Old 09-13-2012, 05:09 AM   #10
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 26
motmcd HB User
Re: Scared to have Neck Surgery

Best advice already given here, and it is: get other opinions. I've been through the surgeries and they have improved my life immensely. The pain and recovery are manageable. You'll be fine.

 
Old 09-13-2012, 02:01 PM   #11
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Philadelphia suburbs
Posts: 3
NPsufferer HB User
Re: Scared to have Neck Surgery

Thank you for your advice. I appreciate everyone's advice. I am going to get a 3rd opinion on Tuesday from another neurosurgeon. Did you have your operations done from a neurosurgeon? How long recovery did you have? I was told 4 wks, but it may be longer because I may need a multilevel discectomy.
Also, has anyone heard of Laser Spine Institute? Apparently they cauterize your discs but don't replace them? Less recovery time, but sounds like my neck would not be too stable.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Has acdf helped u? I am scared. hellohowru Spinal Cord Disorders 4 09-29-2011 07:31 PM
HELP - Just got MRI results, scared!!! sattergren Spinal Cord Disorders 10 11-16-2010 09:47 AM
Finally Have a surgery date. Now I am a bit scared!! skych Spinal Cord Disorders 10 08-21-2008 08:09 AM
Scared Queenie22 Spinal Cord Disorders 6 08-20-2008 05:24 AM
Appt. with Neuro on Friday! Nervous and anxious, scared of more surgery,need support skych Spinal Cord Disorders 15 05-23-2008 06:19 AM

Tags
laminectomy



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



WebDozer (269), jennybyc (197), Realhousewife (42), kenzibenzi (33), NJ Ldy (32), SpineAZ (31), frenchfri1003 (21), teteri66 (19), ladybud (19), feelbad (18)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1136), MSJayhawk (941), Apollo123 (855), janewhite1 (823), Titchou (769), Gabriel (743), ladybud (667), sammy64 (666), midwest1 (654), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:51 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.com™
Copyright and Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!